Long Yunxin’s eyelashes were shivering slightly. She was not particularly into such strategy games where grandiose narrative and the grand sea of stars were involved.
But according to Li Yao’s introduction, it sounded rather interesting. She might as well have a go.
Following the tutorial, Long Yunxin entered the game step by step. She selected the easiest beginner mode and the Curly Dragon civilization, which was at the top of the list.
Under the ‘beginning mode’, she did not need to draft the specific rules and policies. After she chose or altered the main strategy, the system would carry out her will in the most optimal way.
“In year 431 of the Curly Dragon Calendar, the new Archon of the Curly Dragon Coalition Government has been inaugurated. We hope that you can bring Curly Dragon, which has a proud history, to a tomorrow that is even more brilliant and glorious!”
With the simple and dry introduction, a vigorous planet grew larger and larger in front of Long Yunxin. Prosperous cities, dense skyscrapers, and crowds on the street gradually showed up.
Information streams fell down like a waterfall, giving a basic introduction to the Curly Dragon civilization.
The game ‘Civilization’ had two different versions, one for the Cultivators and another for ordinary people.
In the version for Cultivators, the transmission speed of information was ten times higher than that in the ordinary version, thus significantly reducing the time cost.
As a teacher of Flying Star University, Long Yunxin naturally boasted a reasonably good computational ability. Although strategy games had never been her favorite, she still managed to grasp the basic situation of the Curly Dragon civilization.
At the beginning of the game, the Curly Dragon civilization was a rather mature civilization with a single planet.
On their mother planet, they had already established a civilized, highly-developed society full of benefits.
Here, the ordinary people and the Cultivators lived in harmony, deluded in the pleasant life of high benefits, high pension, paid vacation, low working hours, and low labor intensity.
But the pleasant life was founded on the abundant resources of the planet that were running dry at an ever-increasing rate.
Long Yunxin was from a civilization of starships, which was like a nomadic people in the sea of stars. From her first memories, her family and compatriots had been wandering on starships, sifting through broken spaceships and battlefields for the slightest resources.
Other than the resource planets that were too harsh to be developed, they did not leave any space in the Flying Star Sector.
Therefore, once Long Yunxin ‘mastered’ the Curly Dragon civilization and discovered that the ‘death date’ of the planet was coming near, she naturally chose to march into the universe.
To march into the universe, an enormous space fleet would need to be established.
To build such a fleet from scratch, the entire civilization would have to be shifted from a high-benefits society where everybody enjoyed their life to a hardworking one where everybody strived and contributed their everything.
Long Yunxin soon discovered that it was not as simple as she had imagined.
When she ordered to increase the taxes, shorten the vacations, and extend the working hours, and when a lot of resources were devoted to the construction of the space fleet, she immediately suffered serious backlash from every field.
The civilians were all complaining, striking, and demonstrating. The scholars berated her for damaging a well-functioning economy. Her political enemies accused her of being too aggressive and declared that she was establishing the space fleet for her own interests.
As a result, because of the internal contradiction, the resources that she could devote to the space fleet were even less than before!
Seeing that such a policy would lead to riots in the society, Long Yunxin had to make a minor concession.
She thought that such concession would calm the people down.
However, the greedy guys thought that she was weak and that they could take advantage of her. They proposed more and more outrageous demands.
In the end, their demands of benefits and social security were even more ridiculous than the system at the beginning. There was no way that the national economy could shoulder the burden.
This time, she fought back without giving in.
But her weakness in the past had already made her lose the support of her allies and subordinates. The two parties wasted a hundred years bickering with each other, while all the resources on the planet plummeted. Eventually, all the curves turned into a straight line that looked like the electrocardiogram of a dead person. The vital signs of the Curly Dragon civilization were disappearing fast.
Soon, a series of cold words jumped out.
“In year 522 of the Curly Dragon Calendar, the people of the Curly Dragon Sector consumed the last gram of crystal during their protracted argument. They lost their ability of space jump.
“They were suppressed to the cage below one percent the speed of light and failed to break out the solid barrier when they perished in silence!”
Shua! Shua! Shua! Shua!
Her score and her rank popped up.
Embarrassingly, Long Yunxin discovered that her previous performance was lower than 83% of all the players who had selected the beginner mode and the Curly Dragon civilization!
Long Yunxin’s face was aching, as if somebody had slapped her. She was a teacher of Flying Star University and a Cultivator in the Building Foundation Stage after all. How could her performance be so poor?
After getting away from the Grand Illusionary Land, she looked around, afraid of being found out, only to discover that Li Yao had already left some time ago.
More or less relieved, she gritted her teeth and went back into the world of ‘Civilization’.
She selected the beginner-level Curly Dragon civilization again. This time, she made up her mind and persisted in her policies toughly in spite of the backlash of the people and the vilification of her political enemy. Like an iron lady, she pushed forward her plan of ‘universal development’.
Large-scale riots immediately burst out everywhere on the planet.
Fiery riots were bouncing inside Long Yunxin’s beautiful eyes. Biting her lips so hard that her teeth pierced into them, she chose to suppress the riots without any hesitation.
As a result…
The demonstrating crowd somehow boasted massive destructive magical equipment and attacked the military policers. The suppression turned into massacre. For a moment, blood was being spilled everywhere.
Although the trend of strikes and demonstrations was stopped by force, the spirit of the civilization was entirely demolished. Everybody lost their enthusiasm!
Long Yunxin felt like crying when she read the stagnating resource data.
It was true that she could lengthen working hours, reduce benefits, and force everybody to go to work, but there was no way that she could stop people from being sluggish!
The leadership of the military who were responsible for the construction of the space fleet took the chance to suggest that, with the peril right now, she should announce that the country would enter the general mobilization state. Large-scale curfews and military control should be implemented. Everybody should be included in a militarized system. Those who were lazy would be punished according to the military law!
Having no choice, Long Yunxin accepted the suggestion.
After the shot of ‘special cardiotonic’, the effect was rather obvious. The society was stable again, and the efficiency in resource collection and utilization was significantly improved. The space fleet grew larger and larger. Everything was back on track.
When Long Yunxin took a deep breath of relief and thought that the Curly Dragon civilization had finally passed the test, a team of fully-armed, aggressive soldiers suddenly popped up on the picture and strode toward her.
“Hey, hey, hey. Why did nobody tell me that there’s also a ‘military coup’ in the game? Somebody, help me!”
The poor Curly Dragon civilization was destroyed again, by the crazy ambitions of the military this time.
Unwilling to give in easily, Long Yunxin was patient enough to try a few more times. However hard she thought and weighed up different options, the Curly Dragon civilization fell into the abyss of destruction in the end helplessly.
Of all her attempts, the furthest that she ever went was the one where she struggled to the year 600 of the Curly Dragon Calendar and successfully developed almost twenty resource planets.
Tremendous crystals were shipped to the mother planet incessantly. She established a cross-world, enormous space fleet again, ready to march into new Sectors ambitiously.
Right at this moment, nineteen resource planets announced at the same time that they were done with the blatant exploitation of the mother planet and that they would be an independent ‘Outer Space Federation’ henceforth. They were even waging a war against the mother planet!
Seeing the starships that were coming at her from various directions, Long Yunxin was so angry that she felt her head going dizzy!
“There’s absolutely no answer to the development of the Curly Dragon civilization. This is an out-and-out unresolvable conundrum!”
Pissed off, Long Yunxin switched to a new civilization—the Martial Meritocrats civilization.
Very soon, she found herself mired in trouble that was even bigger than that of the Curly Dragon civilization.
Holding back her dizziness, she played another few rounds and finally ran out of her last shred of patience. She had to admit, however reluctantly, that she was perhaps the worst ‘leader’ in the world.
When she lost the enthusiasm and selected ‘Exit’, a reminder suddenly popped up on the menu, asking whether or not she would like to continue experiencing the game from a brand-new perspective.
Long Yunxin calmed down and browsed through the introductions patiently. Then she discovered that ‘Civilization’ had two different game modes.
In the first game mode, she was the supreme master of a certain civilization who would guide the way for a civilization.
However, she could also choose to be a tiny constituent of the civilization, an unknown ordinary person, and experience the rise and fall of the civilization from the bottom level of the society.
The first mode was a top-down, magnificent strategy game.
The second mode, on the other hand, was a bottom-up role play game.
Thinking quickly, Long Yunxin chose to experience the second mode. The light and shadow around her changed again, and she soon found herself in a brand-new world.
She was back on the mother planet of the Curly Dragon Sector but not as the Archon of the Curly Dragon civilization this time, instead one of the most ordinary clerks in an office.
Of course, time went much faster for the life in the game.
The great events that were happening in the society and their influences on the female clerk all turned into torrents of information flooding into her brain.
She could also make different choices regarding the female clerk’s life.
However, most of the time, under the surging trend of social reforms, personal choices were usually weak and meaningless. Individuals often could do nothing to change their life.
At first, Long Yunxin was still struggling hard, but she gave up trying very soon. Like a cold and ruthless bystander, she watched the female clerk living her life and trying to find a balance between her job and her family, her parents and her children.
While she was watching, Long Yunxin suddenly felt that she was somehow touched.
She had a weird feeling. When she was the Archon of the Curly Dragon civilization, she felt that the people of the Curly Dragon Sector were too ignorant and shortsighted. How could they not foresee that a great catastrophe was coming but simply dwell in the pleasure in front of their eyes? Why could they not accept working sixteen hours a day, huge salary cuts, and devoting all the resources to the construction of the space fleet?
They had no sense of the big picture at all. They were too selfish and blind!
Therefore, when she ran into the dilemma a second time, she had chosen ‘suppression’ without any hesitation.
But right now, when she was ‘experiencing’ everything in person from the perspective of an ordinary person of the Curly Dragon Sector, she somehow changed her attitude again.